Ten security agencies can get into your computer : MHA

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Srinagar

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Thursday issued an order authorising ten security and intelligence agencies of the country to access any information stored in any computer for the purpose of monitoring, decrypting and interception, reported The Times of India.

According to report published by The Times of India said in its order dated December 20, 2018, the cyber and information security division of MHA under the sub-section (1) of section 69 of the Information Technology Act, 2000, authorised the Intelligence Bureau, Narcotics Control Bureau, Enforcement Directorate, Central Board of Direct Taxes, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Central Bureau of Investigation; National Investigation Agency, Cabinet Secretariat (R&AW), Directorate of Signal Intelligence (For service areas of Jammu & Kashmir, North-East and Assam only) and Commissioner of Police, Delhi, to access any computer resource.

“Undersigned by Union Home Secretary, Rajiv Gauba, the order mandates for a subscriber or service provider or any person in charge of the computer resource to extend technical assistance to the agencies. Non-compliance will invite seven-year imprisonment and fine,” The Times of India reported.

The move hasn’t been received well. Telangana MP Asaduddin Owaisi criticised it and mocked BJP’s slogan “Ghar Ghar Modi.” “Modi has used a simple Government Order to permit our national agencies to snoop on our communications. Who knew that this is what they meant when they said ‘ghar ghar Modi,” he said in a tweet comparing the order to George Orwell’s 1984.

CPM leader Sitaram Yechury who took to Twitter condemning the order as “unconstitutional”.

“Why is every Indian being treated like a criminal? This order by a govt wanting to snoop on every citizen is unconstitutional and in breach of the telephone tipping guidelines, the Privacy Judgement and the Aadhaar judgement,” wrote Yechury.

The former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah commented saying that the government was imitating North Korea. “We have the North Korean news channels & now we have the North Korean police state. Imitation, as they say, is the sincerest form of flattery,” Omar wrote on Twitter.

“Given that the government has now authorised multiple agencies to snoop on the personal & official computers of the Hon’ble judges of the Supreme Court I hope the SC takes a long hard look at the legality of the order,” Omar tweeted.

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